In this article we recommend two children’s books about bereavement.
We hope it helps you to talk to the younger members of your family about the loss of a loved one.
When someone we love passes away it can be overwhelming and difficult to cope with the emotions and grief that we feel. As adults we can turn to family and friends for support and comfort. Plus there’s an abundance of information online about bereavement to help us through the darkest days.
Talking to a child about the loss of a loved one and the grief that follows may feel more difficult. Little ones have a habit of asking direct questions that us grown ups often get tongue tied over! Thankfully there are lots of children’s books available to help explain about death, grief and keeping memories alive. The two children’s books about bereavement we have chosen to feature are for younger children and tell the story of woodland friends and how they cope with the loss of Mr Fox.
Always and Forever – by Debi Gliori and Alan Durant
This lovely story is about four friends, Fox, Mole, Otter and Hare who all live in a house in the woods. When Fox dies the rest of his family are absolutely distraught. How will Mole, Otter and Hare go on without their beloved friend? But, months later, Squirrel reminds them all of how funny Fox used to be, and they realise that Fox is still there in their hearts and memories.
The Memory Tree – by Britta Teckentrup
Fox heads for the woods and falls asleep one last time. His friends feel very sad and miss him. Then one day they notice a tree growing in the exact spot where he died. Every time they share a happy memory of Fox the tree grows bigger and stronger. The Memory Tree helps everyone remember how much they loved Fox and brings them comfort.
The Child Bereavement Trust is full of valuable insight plus a free helpline. www.childbereavementuk.org/telling-a-child-that-someone-has-died
Partnership for Children have information on their website on how to discuss death with younger children and a video. www.partnershipforchildren.org.uk/talking-to-children-about-death.html
Marie Curie have created a page on their website which offers practical advice about talking to younger children about death and grief.